The 95th edition of the Academy Awards is set to rock the stage in March. A celebration of the very lives imbued into the films of the yesteryear. Part of the fun of the awards season is speculating who’d end up with the biggest prizes of the night.
So, let’s peel back some of the layers that went into The 95th edition of the Academy Awards is set to rock the stage in March. A celebration of the various lives and artistic visions imbued into the films of the yesteryear, the nominees of 2023 contain some powerhouses with the likes of “Avatar”, Steven Spielberg, and John Williams all being within the same edition.
Part of the fun of the awards season is speculating who would end up with the biggest prizes of the night. Sometimes it’s a little bit of facts and figures along with campaigning, and at other times, something totally out of the pie box.
Therefore, we’re going to put on our thinking hats and dive into the various categories, be it Best Picture, Best Documentary, Best Morbius (ok, we’re kidding about that last one), and the like.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”
“Marcel the Shell With Shoes On”
“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”
“The Sea Beast”
Let’s start off with something that’s a little easier to predict. If there’s one thing that the guilds and academies love, it is the concept of stop-motion. If the dough’s good, it actually has the best chance of winning the trophy,
This year, there are actually two movies which utilise the technique: “Pinocchio” and “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”. Regardless, we think the former has the better chance of clinching the title, and this is especially bolstered by its recent Golden Globes win.
Cate Blanchett – “Tár”
Ana de Armas – “Blonde”
Andrea Riseborough – “To Leslie”
Michelle Williams – “The Fabelmans”
Michelle Yeoh – “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Andrea Riseborough’s nomination was definitely a surprise but ultimately, we don’t think it will uproot the strong foundations of the two heavyweights in this category. Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh are going head to head for the best actress spot as they both turned in really strong performances. Michelle might be a favourite but we think Blanchett will ultimately edge out the Malaysian-born actress.
Indeed, Blanchett’s turn as a world-renowned classical composer who slowly but surely slinks into a downward spiral is one for the ages. Blanchett’s captivating gravitas to Lydia Tár has earned her multiple accolades within the past six months and it would be difficult to top that momentum.
Austin Butler – “Elvis”
Colin Farrell – “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Brendan Fraser – “The Whale”
Paul Mescal – “Aftersun”
Bill Nighy – “Living”
Brendan Fraser. Brendan Fraser. And we’ll repeat it once more. Brendan-the-man-FRASER!
The 54-year-old “The Mummy” actor has recently gotten a resurgence in Hollywood and this rising trend has aptly been dubbed the ‘Brennaisance’. His performance in “The Whale” is quite possibly the best thing he’s had in years, and we were so struck by the humongous gravity of it all that we’re quite certain that he’s gonna clinch it.
The only other performer who’s probably the most likely to take the throne would be Austin Butler for “Elvis”. We mean, the guy’s stuck with the King’s accent now. That’s pure dedication.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Angela Bassett – “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
Hong Chau – “The Whale”
Kerry Condon – “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Jamie Lee Curtis – “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Stephanie Hsu – “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
For the first time ever, a performer in an MCU film has been nominated for an Academy Award, but that doesn’t mean that a win is automatic. Sure, Angela Bassett may be the favourite to win here due to that history-making Golden Globe title, but based on momentum and statistics alone, Kerry Condon, Hong Chau, and Stephanie Hsu are actually ahead of her.
Frankly, this one is tough. Kerry Condon and truly, Stephanie Hsu, were both standouts in their respective movies. Nevertheless, we’re placing our cards on Hong Chau’s dramatic chops to take away the prize for her performance in “The Whale”. Her pairing with Brendan Fraser was truly heartfelt. As the lead’s emotional crux, there was so much weight poured into crafting this hefty journey, one that Hong Chau expertly traverses, be it in her scenes with Brendan or with the younger cast of Sadie Sink and Ty Simpkins.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Brendan Gleeson – “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Brian Tyree Henry – “Causeway”
Judd Hirsch – “The Fabelmans”
Barry Keoghan – “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Ke Huy Quan – “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Like Brendan Fraser, Ke Huy Quan is also enjoying a cinematic resurgence. The only difference is that “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is only his second role in over a decade after appearing in 2021’s “Finding Ohana”. The ‘kid’ from “Indiana Jones” has been killing it at all throughout the awards season and it’s hard to see anyone else take usurp this strong position. Probably Brendan Gleeson or Barry Keoghan could summon some banshees from Ireland and grab hold of the golden man. But we really think that Short Round has got it. After all, the man’s got that ‘Blue Steel’ rizz.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“The Banshees of Inisherin” – Martin McDonagh
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” – Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
“The Fabelmans” – Tony Kushner, Steven Spielberg
“Tár” – Todd Field
“Triangle of Sadness” – Ruben Östlund
There are two films on this list that are simply audacious and fresh: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “The Banshees of Inisherin” that we think they’re going to emerge in a draw. But… if we had to choose… we’d go with “Banshees” as its ludicrous premise hammers its comedy down hard and yet, makes up with a compelling tale of brotherhood and loss for the ages. Feckin’ incredible.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“All Quiet on the Western Front” – Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, Ian Stokell
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” – Rian Johnson
“Living” – Kazuo Ishiguro
“Top Gun: Maverick” – Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, Christopher McQuarrie
“Women Talking” – Sarah Polley
For the best-adapted screenplay, we believe that Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking” is the strongest runner and it has been scooping medals left and right since the awards season began. Don’t get us wrong, there are no qualities that make the others on this list inferior, and they are all entertaining in their own right. Yet, “Women Talking” would most probably be something that the Academy would be looking for, with its strong message that would become its talking point.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“All That Breathes” – Shaunak Sen, Aman Mann and Teddy Leifer
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” – Laura Poitras, Howard Gertler, John Lyons, Nan Goldin and Yoni Golijov
“Fire of Love” – Sara Dosa, Shane Boris and Ina Fichman
“A House Made of Splinters” – Simon Lereng Wilmont and Monica Hellström
“Navalny” – Daniel Roher, Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller and Shane Boris
Phew, it’s getting rather hot in here!
“Fire of Love” is quite the eruption when it comes to the world of documentaries and is quite possibly the frontrunner for the best feature in this category. It’s a fiery mix of danger and adventure and chaos, and yet finds itself melting in a pot of amorous affection, and ultimately tragedy.
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
“All Quiet on the Western Front” (Germany)
“Argentina, 1985” (Argentina)
“The Quiet Girl” (Ireland)
Two of the films on this list performed really well at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Belgium’s “Close” won the Grand Prix and “EO” won the jury prize. Moreover, the buzz surrounding Netflix’s “All Quiet On The Western Front” has been spectacular as of late too. However, we think, with the momentum that it’s gotten from its time in France, the Belgian film directed by Lukas Dhont has the upper hand over its competition.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Applause” – “Tell It Like a Woman” (Diane Warren)
“Hold My Hand” – “Top Gun: Maverick” (Lady Gaga, BloodPop)
“Naatu Naatu” – “RRR” (MM Keeravaani, Chandrabose)
“Lift Me Up” – “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Tems, Ludwig Göransson, Rihanna and Ryan Coogler)
“This Is A Life” – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (Ryan Lott, David Byrne, Mitski)
Rihanna and Lady Gaga both lent their soulful voices to two of 2022’s most popular films. Their songs got some significant airtime on the charts. However, we think “RRR’s” “Naatu Naatu” is the song of the year, with its extended choreographed sequence becoming a phenom on its own.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
“All Quiet on the Western Front” – Volker Bertelmann
“Babylon” – Justin Hurwitz
“The Banshees of Inisherin” – Carter Burwell
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” – Son Lux
“The Fabelmans” – John Williams
We just want to point out that a crime was committed within the streets of Gotham with “The Batman” being snubbed for this category. That’s it.
Regardless, there are some stellar works from the brilliant 5 minds on this list that are equal parts haunting, dynamic, and giddy. Ultimately, we do think Justin Hurwitz will triumph here for his latest collaboration with Damien Chazelle.
However, we’re not ruling out the might of John Williams, who has basically broken his own record of being the individual with the most Oscar nominations alive. If one is capable to cause an upset, it’s the legend himself. So, we’ll just have to wait and see.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” – James Friend
“Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” – Darius Khondji
“Elvis” – Mandy Walker
“Empire of Light” – Roger Deakins
“Tár” – Florian Hoffmeister
For the film with the best cinnamon toast crunch, there are three that could take the crown. Roger Deakins work on “Empire of Light” was sublime as was Florian Hoffmeister’s approach for “Tár”. Yet, we think Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s “Bardo” will rise above the rest with its dark, humorous approach to life, and the bewitching absurdities within its context.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
“All Quiet on the Western Front” – Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank, Kamil Jafar
“Avatar: The Way of Water” – Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon, Daniel Barrett
“The Batman” – Dan Lemmon, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands, Dominic Tuohy
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” – Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White, Dan Sudick
“Top Gun: Maverick” – Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson, Scott R Fisher
(Insert ‘eyes’ emoji here). Is this even a competition?
BEST FILM EDITING
“The Banshees of Inisherin” – Mikkel EG Nielsen
“Elvis” – Matt Villa, Jonathan Redmond
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” – Paul Rogers
“Tár” – Monika Willi
“Top Gun: Maverick” – Eddie Hamilton
Like his musical biopic brother before him, “Elvis” has the potential to do a little jiggle-wiggle and walk away with the Oscar here. This time, however, we’re going to go with the Multiversal effort of “Everything Everywhere All At Once” which basically mashed a whole lot of varying ideas and made it all work! “Everything Everywhere All At Once” was simply perfect in its pace and presentation, which is why we think it will triumph here.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
“Babylon” – Mary Zophres
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” – Ruth E Carter
“Elvis” – Catherine Martin
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” – Shirley Kurata
“Mrs Harris Goes to Paris” – Jenny Beavan
Ruth E Carter is back once again for the “Black Panther” sequel and she’s achieved a nomination once again for her great work in bringing Wakanda and Talokan to life this time around. Nevertheless, will she be able to retain her crown?
Loads of work were poured into recreating the suits that the King of Rock and Roll wore, and “Babylon” was a fiesta in the works. “Everything Everywhere All At Once” had a wicked amount of costumes. Cough. Raccoon hair. Cough. Sausage fingers.
So, in the end, did you think we were gonna rule out “Black Panther” after listing all of the others? No, actually, we were going to say that the Marvel sequel has a really great shot at attaining a second trophy in the category with its intricacies and beautiful craftsmanship on display throughout the sequences of the movie. Tenoch Huerta’s Namor and Mabel Cadena’s Namora designs are truly beautiful and the glory of Wakanda was increased ten-fold with the new costumes.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” – Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel, Stefan Korte
“Avatar: The Way of Water” – Julian Howarth, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Dick Bernstein, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Michael Hedges
“The Batman” – Stuart Wilson, William Files, Douglas Murray, Andy Nelson
“Elvis” – David Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson, Michael Keller
“Top Gun: Maverick” – Mark Weingarten, James H Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor
While one might expect a spectacle like “Avatar” to sweep the technical categories, we actually think that it’s the least likely to win. With “All Quiet on The Western Front”, the sound design was chilling; haunting when it was needed, and silent to showcase creeping stealth. The same can be said about Matt Reeve’s “Batman” here. “Elvis”, on the other hand, is a pompous ride, one that needed to splurge on the wealth of the King’s vocals.
This time, however, we are feeling the need… for speed with “Top Gun: Maverick”. While much of its adrenaline-fuelled rushes can be attributed to the giddy camera work, what we can say is that the IMAX experience of hearing jet fuel combust through airspace is simply a master’s work of art. Simply put, it’s music to the ears.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
“All Quiet on the Western Front” – Christian M Goldbeck, Ernestine Hipper
“Avatar: The Way of Water” – Dylan Cole, Ben Procter, Vanessa Cole
“Elvis” – Catherine Martin, Karen Murphy, Bev Dunn
“Babylon” – Florencia Martin, Anthony Carlino
“The Fabelmans” – Rick Carter, Karen O’Hara
For this category, we think “The Fabelmans” extensive set work and preparations in creating a piece true to a specific era will ultimately prevail. Rick Carter and Karen O’Hara worked off floor plans from Spielberg’s memory and translated them into a working set. And it evolves with the journey that Sammy goes through as every space and crevice is put into account.
BEST MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING
“All Quiet on the Western Front” – Heike Merker, Linda Eisenhamerová
“The Batman” – Naomi Donne, Mike Marino, Mike Fontaine
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” – Camille Friend, Joel Harlow
“Elvis” – Mark Coulier, Jason Baird, Aldo Signoretti
“The Whale” – Adrien Morot, Judy Chin, Anne Marie Bradley
There’s been a trend in which make-up and hairstyling tend to look up to the use of prosthetics that significantly alter a person’s appearance. In this case, we could eliminate all of the nominees save for two. One obviously is “The Whale” and the second is “Elvis”.
Once again, due to the nature of “The Whale” and how it basically transformed Brendan Fraser’s natural appearance into a heavy, morbidly obese man, it’s definitely going to pull the weight in this category to its favour.
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT
“An Irish Goodbye”
“The Red Suitcase”
Anders Walter previously won the Oscar for Best Short Film in 2014, and we think he is able to do it once again for his excellent work on “Ivalu”.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”
“The Flying Sailor”
“My Year of Dicks”
“An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It”
Looking at the last two titles on this list is enough to give someone a chuckle but let’s try to keep a straight face here. We actually think that the raunchy title has the best shot here. “My Year of Dicks”, a tale of self-discovery has been killing it at film fests and we wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up losing its vi- sorry, we mean winning the grand prize here.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
“The Elephant Whisperers”
“How Do You Measure a Year?”
“The Martha Mitchell Effect”
“Stranger at the Gate”
“How Do You Measure a Year?” and “Stranger at the Gate” are both coming in hot with prior nominations and subsequent wins from film festivals. However, we’re going with our gut to say that “Stranger at the Gate”. It’s a loving message, which allows for a testimony of man’s capacity for compassion even when violence is knocking right at the door.
Martin McDonagh – “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert – “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Steven Spielberg – “The Fabelmans”
Todd Field – “Tár”
Ruben Östlund – “Triangle of Sadness”
Now, this is actually pretty tough as all of these directors poured their hearts to create significantly unique cinematic experiences. Todd Field masterfully brought the life and slow death of a composer to screen, the grieving artist perhaps he was trying to convey. Martin McDonagh imbued his sensibilities to craft a stellar irony in Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson’s performances. Not to forget, the Daniels, one time directors of DJ Snake’s “Turn Down For What” music video, built up a wacky and extraterrestrial experience.
Despite that, we’re actually going to go with Steven Spielberg. The man drew inspiration from himself to create a sort of pseudo-biography. The vision he had from the start helped shape up that dream of his upon the silver screen. He’s embraced it, fully immersed himself in the arts, and has now become part of cinema itself.
“All Quiet on the Western Front”
“Avatar: The Way of Water”
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“Top Gun: Maverick”
“Triangle of Sadness”
And so, we’re down to the most coveted award of the season. After what “CODA” pulled off last year, it’s safe to say we can expect the unexpected. Yet, we’ll try to predict who will take home the prize.
Let’s face it, “Avatar”, “Maverick”, “Elvis” and “All Quiet on The Western Front” are probably not going to win Best Picture. They’re a little more to the technical and visual side, which doesn’t really fit into the mould of the Best Picture winners in recent years.
So, that leaves us with six more contestants in the dramatic category. Here’s where it really gets going. We think that “Women Talking” has a chance but it might not be the neutral ground that some might want. So, that leaves us with what? “Banshees”, “EEAAO”, “Tar”, “The Fabelmans”, and “Triangle of Sadness”.
We haven’t really discussed Ruben Ostlund’s film, and it may pretty much be the outlier over here. However, it’s also worth noting that it did win big at Cannes last year. And you know what won big previously at the same fest a few years back? That’s right, Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite”, did go on to win Best Picture during the 92nd Academy Awards.
That being said, we can’t count the rest out based on a singular statistic from a few years back. Indeed, “Banshees” and “The Fabelmans” have equal shots at bringing it home. Yet, we still think that “Everything Everywhere All At Once” might actually be the most complete film. It’s got homages to cinema. It’s big on spectacle, and yet, doesn’t shy away from its dramatic moments. And overall, the idea of bringing kindness to one another through this weird, wonderful film is quite simply a most logical choice here. It’s unconventional, and yet it ticks all the boxes.
What do you think of our predictions for the 95th edition of the Academy Awards? Are we smack-on right or are we dead wrong? Give us your guesses and tell us who you think would win!
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